Ones To Watch - Holy Other

Dark vocal-driven electronic music
Clash magazine - Ones To Watch - Holy Other
You wouldn’t know who Holy Other was if he punched you in the face, and that’s just the way he likes it. “I don’t feel that music has to be egocentric,” David says of the face-obscuring hood he wears as his alter-ego. “It’s not relevant for there to be a face attributed to the music - there’s a stronger aesthetic if it’s faceless.”

Manchester-born David started making “slow, dark electronic music” as Holy Other a couple of years ago while living in Berlin, inspired by 4/4 house, hip-hop and the local Leisure System electro nights he frequented. Releasing the bedroom-recorded ‘We Over’ 7”, he came to the attention of Robin Carolan of Tri Angle Records, which specialises in comfort level-challenging otherworldly beats. “I’d heard [early Tri Angle release] Balam Acab and been really into it,” David says of his signing with the label. “Robin’s sales pitch was focused on how he wanted Tri Angle to grow with artists, and I saw a lot of potential there.”

Last year, Tri Angle released Holy Other's debut EP ‘With U’, a set of claustrophobic dirge-pop with a unique melodic lightness to its beatsy gloam. ‘Touch’ has a melancholic D’Angelo-esque vocal over its two-step beat, while ‘Yr Love’ samples the drum skitter and horn toot of Grace Jones’ ‘Pull Up To The Bumper’ for its futuro-sensual vibe. David’s sketchy on the details of the debut Holy Other album (out in June), but he assures it’ll be a “continuation of the melodic emphasis.”

With ‘underground’ artists increasingly wearing mainstream influences on their sleeve, will 2012 be the year to put paid to pop snobbery? “I guess the underground scene’s elitism became a bit too much to bear,” David says. “But I think the fresh approach to genres is wonderful, and the aspiration to make the best pop song tends to create the weirdest pop songs. Everyone should strive to write a Rihanna song!”

Words by Owen Myers
Photo by Samuel John Butt


Where: Manchester/London
What: Dark vocal-driven electronic music
Get 3 songs: ‘Yr Love’, ‘With U’, ‘Touch’
Unique Fact: The ‘With U’ EP artwork depicts David’s (unwashed) bedsheets from his time living in Gothenburg.

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